It's a little bit funny.
I was looking through photos the other day, and I was astounded by the number of photos I had taken of myself in a "Myspace" sort of way: extended arm, no smile, cute hair...you know the drill. And I thought to myself, "When did I become this person?"
And then I realized something. They are the only photos of me I have. Where are the photos of me with my friends? Where are the shots taken on vacation of me in front of the Grand Canyon or me hanging out the window of a car? I have tons of photos like these:
The MySpace shot, and...
The mirror shot.
And tons of photos like these:
Photos where my whole family (sister, stepdad, mom, brother, sister-in-law) went to do something, and I am mysteriously absent, and...
...photos like these where we did something amazing and odd in college (like play music in the elevator for three hours, making up songs the whole time) and I am not recorded.
And I realized that I am missing out, being the one behind the lens the whole time. I am strikingly absent from all of the records of my favorite memories. When I am old, no one will believe I ever had any part of this kind of thing. They'll just think I sat around and took photos of myself during a particularly good hair day while everyone else traipsed around Millennium Park and sang for strangers in the elevator.
Is there a fix for this, short of giving my camera full of memories to a perfect stranger and chancing theft? Not that I have found.
And will this change? Most likely, not.
Why is that? Because I love taking photos, hunting for those moments when a friend smiles their true smile or something crazy and unbelievable happens just as the shutter opens. It's the magic of the moment, the laughs and jokes captured right there to revisit, in case I never have another one. It's storing away little capsules full of happiness with my friends and family.
And really, if I wanted to look at myself, I could just look in a mirror...or visit MySpace.